Carrol Clarkson

in Drawing the Line

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2013 | ISBN: 9780823254156
Published online May 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780823260898 | DOI:

Series: Just Ideas (FUP)


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  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies


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With reference to an everyday exchange with vendors at a traffic light intersection in Cape Town, this chapter develops a concept of an “ethics of address.” The discussion analyses the operations of pronominal forms in situations of address, and shows how this sheds unexpected light on the relation between ethics and aesthetics in the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas: the work of art can also be understood to make an ethical demand on the viewer in its appeal to an “I” who must become “you” in order to be responsive to that call. The chapter ends by linking this ethics of address to the African philosophy of Ubuntu.

Keywords: Emmanuel Levinas; Ethics of address; Other; Martin Buber; I-Thou relation; Ubuntu; Yvonne Mokgoro

Chapter.  8477 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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